Remote-controlled studded tyres available in the future

Remote-controlled studded tyres are something that customers have been asking for for several years, says Matti Morri, manager of Nokian Heavy Tyres technical customer service. The ideal tyre would enable activating and deactivating the studs from the cabin as necessary. Quite a few tyre manufacturers have tried to fulfil this dream, but this kind of tyre has never become more than a picture on a computer screen.

Why did Nokian Tyres start to develop this kind of innovation?

The idea may look feasible on the computer screen, but the implementation of the actual tyre is not. Thus nobody has yet been able to produce a set of tyres like this.

However, we at Nokian Tyres thought that, to celebrate the 80th anniversary of our winter tyres, we would like to show the world that this area of expertise is something that we can master as well. As an experiment, we produced a set of four remote-controlled studded tyres. These tyres will not as such be available to customers, but they are new concept tyres. The vehicle does not need to be stopped in order to activate the studs – it is possible to activate and deactivate the studs while driving simply by pressing a button. These tyres with remote-controlled studs installed have been driven for a couple of hundred kilometres in varying winter conditions and they work fine.

How did Nokian Tyres succeed where everyone else failed?

It did require quite a bit of expertise in the tyre structure and we as a tyre manufacturer truly know tyres. Remote-controlled studs are not easy to implement in a way that the studs on all four tyres can be activated and deactivated at the same time in less than a second.

How is this technically possible?

This is the big secret. As many guesses have been made as there are people who have seen the tyres, but nobody has guessed right.

How long will it be before these tyres are available to customers?

With the technique we used for manufacturing them, it would be far too complicated to take the tyres into production with a production capacity of tens of thousands of tyres. This technique needs to be simplified and the development work will take at least 10-20 years when talking about normal tyre structures in use today. As our winter tyre is now 80 years old, it may be equipped with remote-controlled studs when it reaches 100.

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